That fishing dropped off, but Bob Matthews at Fisherman's Den in Belmar Marina said there was some good surf action before the storm from Sandy Hook to Asbury Park for school bass up to 25 inches. Conditions should be much better for surfcasters today, and boaters will probably find plenty of bass to work onA sturgeon of about six feet was the highlight of last Friday's trip with Chuck Many of Annandale on his Tyman from Gateway Marina in Highlands along with Nellie Greer from Bethlehem, Pa. and Brad Knecht of Nazareth, Pa.
I checked Bay Head this morning and talked to one angler who had braved the bitter cold to release two legal stripers on a needlefish plug before daylight despite the shallow waters due to a low tide and and the northwest wind that blows water off the beach. I returned around noon when the water was up,and only needed my Tsunami Marlin boat boots to walk the calm surf, but the water was crystal clear and with no bait showing it didn't look promising.
Nothing much went on this morning in the local surf, but a couple of bass were hooked at Point Pleasant. Bob Correll of Bay Head fished his local surf late in the afternoon to catch a hickory shad, but watched young Ryan McCabe catch his first striper ever -- a 20-incher on metal.
Many left the hot afternoon bite of small schoolies to try drifting live eels and large peanut bunkers in Ambrose Channel and the Hudson River for a big fish, but had no hits. The Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands had another good early jigging bite between the channels, and ended up releasing lots of short bass to get some keepers plus a few blues.
Capt. Howard Bogan said the early striper bite to the south on his Jamaica from Brielle died out by 9 a. m. this morning. At Barnegat, Captains Dave DeGennaro of Hi-Flier and Steve Purul of Reel Fantasea report fine striper fishing by a variety of methods -- as does Capt. Bob De Santis of Skipjack II from Waretown.
I had my best day ever of blind casting after it started out exactly the opposite while fishing with John Green of Brick. Bob Correll of Bay Head fished his local beach at dawn and saw the same thing we observed at Brick Beach -- lots of birds on sand eels, but nothing being caught.
Capt. Rob Semkowyc was disappointed that he didn't have enough customers to sail with his Sea Hunter from Atlantic Highlands as striper jigging improved on Sunday after a poor Saturday. Sunday's pool bass was a 27 1 2-pounder.